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When the Moon Is Low Bets On...

When the Moon Is Low

July 2015

I approached WHEN THE MOON IS LOW by Nadia Hashimi with the typical trepidation I feel when an author whose previous work I loved delivers her second novel. Her debut, THE PEARL THAT BROKE ITS SHELL, was brilliant and one that I saw as on par with Khaled Hosseini’s three works. But oh, does Nadia deliver! This book is just as brilliant. I loved the characters, the pacing, the story, and the way I empathized for all those who struggle each day to find new homes and lands when the worlds that they know have been forsaken by violence. The fear and sadness that is part of these people's lives is quite overwhelming.

At the start, there is the joy and love of a modest middle-class family where the father Mahmoud is a civil engineer, but quickly that erodes with the brutal actions of a local Taliban group who slay him. From there, the question for his wife, Fereiba, is whether to stay or flee; neither is a great option. She decides to head to Europe with falsified documents and hope. Her oldest son, Saleem, is thrust into a more mature role than he was raised for, but quickly rises to the challenge of supporting his mother and siblings. But then in Greece their plan derails, and Saleem is left behind and on his own with just his wits to join his family. It’s powerful writing and reading.

This week, I read a story about 15,000 refugees fleeing into the Chunnel to England, underscoring the depths of this issue. It’s a huge international political story brought vividly to life in Nadia’s hands. I cannot wait to see what she writes next.

When the Moon Is Low
by Nadia Hashimi

  • Publication Date: April 26, 2016
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
  • ISBN-10: 006236961X
  • ISBN-13: 9780062369611